105,000 Australians are homeless on any given night. In 1993, Simon Rowe was one of them. Now, Rowe has launched a project that he hopes will eventually provide a place to sleep to over 6,000 homeless people per night. His passion project is called Sleepbus, which will provide thousands of Australians with private temporary living spaces. To fund Sleepbus, Rowe set up a GoFundMe page to raise enough money to get a pilot program started. In a little over three months, Rowe's campaign made enough money from donations to fund not one, but two charter busses to be converted into Sleep Busses.
Rowe's goal is to utilise a fleet of 300 busses to aid the struggling homeless population in Australia. Each bus has the potential to provide 8,030 safe sleeps per year, according to the Sleepbus GoFundMe page. The busses will be similar to shelters, but will have a few strategic differences. Each bus will have 22 sleep pods, outfitted with a bed, charging station, TV and security controls on the door. This hotel-like setup rather than a shelter-like one is a strategic move. The TV is there to keep people calm and help them catch up on news or shows they used to watch. The other major difference is the ability for the busses to set up wherever the homeless people congregate. The busses come to them instead of people having to search for a shelter to rest.
Rowe himself admits that Sleepbus is only one solution to a single problem, but nevertheless hopes Sleepbus is a good place to start in the fight against homelessness. Rowe believes in the power of charity to positively affect the lives of the people around us. His passionate mission to help the homeless population in Australia has resonated with thousands and his compassion is seemingly endless. Despite the incredible amount of hard work and time Rowe has spent on Sleepbus, he stated that "The least we can do is provide safe overnight accommodation to people sleeping rough in Australia, until they get back on their feet".